San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Celeb chef Gordon Ramsay allegedly threatened at gunpoint in Costa Rica

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was doused in gasoline and held at gunpoint in Costa Rica as he filmed a new TV about illegal shark finning, according to a British paper.

The Hell’s Kitchen host said he was shooting scenes about shark finning in Costa Rica for British program Big Fish Fight when gang members confronted him. Despite its green image, Costa Rica has earned a rather notorious reputation for illegal shark finning.

Ramsey told Britain’s Daily Mail that the gang held him and his TV crew at gun point before gang members threw fuel over him. Local police advised Ramsey to flee the country for his safety, Ramsey said.

“It’s a multibillion-dollar industry, completely unregulated,” Ramsey told the Daily Mail. “We traced some of the biggest culprits to Costa Rica. These gangs operate from places like forts, with barbed-wire and gun towers.”

“At one, I managed to shake off the people keeping us away, ran up some stairs to a rooftop and looked down to see thousands of fins, drying on rooftops for as far as the eye could see. When I got back downstairs, they tipped a barrel of petrol over me,” the TV celebrity chef said. “Back at the wharf, there were people pointing rifles at us to stop us filming. A van pulled up and these seedy characters made us stand against a wall. The police came and advised us to leave the country. They said, ’If you set one foot in there, they’ll shoot you.”

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